The Best Way To Get Rid of Paint Fumes In Just 30 Minutes

Do you hate the way your room smells right after a new paint job? Some people like that fresh paint smell. I don’t mind the paint odor that much, but I feel like the harmful fumes are killing my brain cells.

Manufacturers have made paints much safer. There are many low odor, low VOC paint (volatile organic compounds) and no VOC paints on the market, but they haven’t completely eliminated the nasty smell of a freshly painted room. If you live in an older home, like mine, it may not be possible to open windows to bring in fresh air and rid the house of a strong smell or unpleasant odors. I’m sure all of you have read about other ways to get rid of new paint smells (or other smells for that matter). Who hasn’t tried baking soda, white vinegar, lemon slices, coffee beans, peppermint oil or activated charcoal. In my experience none of these have done the trick. We have found a great solution using a 2-step process. This seems to be a great way for getting rid of the bad smell of paint fumes quickly and restoring our indoor air quality.

Let me start by saying, this is NOT sponsored. No one gave me anything free. I own and use both of these products regularly.

Step 1: Ozone Generator

I’ve talked before about my ozone laundry system. I believe in the power of ozone and the BEST use of it is to get rid of just about any foul odor. I’ve owned an ozone generator for years and put mine to the test.

These are the smells that my ozone has successfully eliminated:

  • Throw up in a car or room
  • Paint fumes
  • Cigarette smoke in a car or room
  • Wet dog smell in my car interior
  • Mold and mildew smells
  • Litter box smells
  • lingering paint odours
ozone generator

I choose every product I review. I may earn a small commission if you buy from one of the product links, at no extra cost to you. This income supports this site. See the full disclosure.

What I like about the ozone machine is that it doesn’t just cover up one smell with another one. Something like Fabreeze or a scented candle just masks the smell with a different smell, but you still have a lingering odor. Watch this video to learn more.

How Do Ozone Generators Work?

Smells naturally go away as they are exposed to air, which is Oxygen (O2). The smelly molecules oxidize and that’s what makes them lose their smell.

Ozone is O3 (three oxygen molecules). O3 is an unstable molecule. It looks for something to react with. It attaches to the stinky molecules which makes them oxidize faster. Ozone molecules don’t cover up the smell, they break down the smelly molecules.

How To Use an Ozone Generator Safely?

These generators are not air purifiers. You should not be in the room when the machine is on. It says this right ON the unit. Plan to run the unit on a timer and then give it time to air out. I allow at least 30 minutes after the generator has finished running before I come back in the room.

When I was researching for this post it was interesting to see that all the companies selling air purifiers said that ozone was dangerous. I’m sure this has nothing to do with the fact that they are selling air purifiers. 🤨

They are dangerous only if they are used incorrectly. They come with a timer because they are meant to turn themselves off. You set them to run for 30 minutes or an hour when you are away (and your pets are not in the room). Then they shut off and the smells are magically gone.

For stubborn smells in my car I have had to run it more than once. I put this machine inside the car and leave the door cracked to accommodate the cord.

Step 2: Use An Air Purifier

We always have an air purifier in our home. I don’t do this second step in my car if I’m trying to get rid of smells. Our house is only 1800 square feet, so we have this Levoit model that takes care of the whole house. They come in all different size configurations.

air purifier

For paint fumes, once the ozone has done it’s job we set up the air purifier. There is no trace of paint fumes in just two hours after the painting is finished.

As an aside, we have construction happening next door to our house and we can literally smell the exhaust from the generator they use. We realized the best way to filter out the exhaust was to keep the air purifier running.

What’s The Difference Between An Air Purifier AND an Ozone Machine?

In my opinion both appliances are really useful to have, but for different reasons. Ozone is a gas that literally breaks down the molecules that are causing the odors. They are not designed to improve air quality, which is why you shouldn’t be in the room when they are running.

An air purifier can’t quickly get rid of the same smells as an ozone generator can. I’ve tried. Air purifiers trap and filter out pollutants, they don’t break them down.

I hope this helps you get rid of paint fumes (or other nasty smells) in your home.   You might also be interested in how to get rid of leftover paint.

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  1. I love the laundry system, and I just bought the air purifier, next up this ozone unit. You are so clever, and I appreciate all of the healthy tips you share. Thank you!

  2. Andrea, this is such great information! I really can’t stand the litter box smell from our cat. And I’m wondering if the pool house still smells like fresh paint? I sort of like it but agree it’s you about it’s toxicity. Thanks for sharing-another fabulous post!

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